Dyip ride to victory
Coach Ricky Dandan is having one good ride on board Columbian Dyip so far—and import CJ Aiken continues to prove that he can be depended on to steer the wheel.
Columbian notched its second cruising victory of the conference, pouncing on an NLEX squad still trying to blend its import into its system to hammer out a 123-103 rout Saturday night at Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
It was the second victory for Columbian in three outings. After a 28-point rout of Blackwater to open the tournament, the Dyip fell to Meralco before coming up huge anew against the Road Warriors—much to the amazement of Dandan, who endured a rocky All-Filipino campaign.
“Like I said, it really amazes me the way we played, especially when you look at where we came from—a one-win conference,” said Dandan, whose team, then known as KIA, got junked out of the Philippine Cup on a pile of defeats.
“I really can’t help but be in awe especially on the defensive end. I couldn’t ask for more,” added Dandan. “We had a lot of mistakes that’s for sure but the collective effort defensively, the adjustments they made when NLEX made a rally was just all there.”
With Aiken leading the way and a local core dedicated to flooring the gas pedal, the Dyip burned rubber all over NLEX, never letting up on the way to surpass their All-Filipino win total this early in the tournament.
Aiken collected 28 points, draining all three attempts from beyond the arc as he missed just two of 13 field goal attempts. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and swatted four shots as he continued to audition for a continued stay with Columbian.
Renan Celda also came up big with 26 points, four rebounds and four assists, and one steal, while Jerramy King, the hero in Columbian’s opening-day victory, punched in 23 points built around four triples.
By the time King nailed his fourth triple, the Dyip roared to their biggest lead, 123-100, with under a minute to play.
Rashawn McCarthy came up with a steady performance across major statlines, collecting 13 points, 12 assists, and nine assists. Columbian’s starters all contributed in double figures, with big man Eric Camson managing 13 points and seven rebounds.
In the second game, Terrence Romeo, acquired from GlobalPort in a midseason swap, had 21 points as TNT held off Phoenix, 106-98, for its second straight victory.
Veteran playmaker Jayson Castro added 18 points as five KaTropa mustered double figures for coach Nash Racela.